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BWW Review: THE LITTLE MERMAID at Regal Theatre


Wonderful reimagining of Disney classic has plenty for young and old

BWW Review: THE LITTLE MERMAID at Regal Theatre

Backing up the encore season Legally Blonde, HAMA Productions have not wasted any time getting straight back to it with THE LITTLE MERMAID opening at the Regal Theatre. Whilst the cast featured many familiar faces from the Perth theatre scene, it is fair to say that it showcased the depth of talent in Perth, with many of the cast excelling in roles unlike other roles they've been in recently. The result is a wonderful reimagining of the classic Disney movie, with plenty to entertain any audience member, young or old.

Georgia Rodgers is the titular Ariel, and it is simply impossible to overlook her performance. Superb acting -cartoonish when it needed to be but showing emotion and depth when called upon- met perfect vocals. Her outstanding singing drew comparisons to Jodi Benson (who originated the role of Ariel in the 1989 Disney animation) that were not at all misplaced. John Berry played Prince Eric, and one would scarcely believe Berry is just 17 given his maturity as a performer. His vocals are refined beyond his years. Having recently played Uncle Fester in The Addams Family and Kyle in Legally Blonde, Josh Firman stars as King Triton in a performance that truly entertains young and old. Clay Darius adds humour as well as the ability to quickly grab the audience's attention to the role of Sebastian the crab, and Ariel's trusty sidekick Flounder is played by Crockett Groves, another youngster who clearly has quite the future ahead.

Ethan Churchill is perfectly imperfect as the seagull Scuttle, Cathy Woodhouse owns the stage as the evil Ursula, and Mike Nayar and Max Conroy are perfect as the bumbling Grimsby and the borderline psychotic Chef Louis, respectively. Two actors who show true versatility are Greg Jarema and Brandyn Kaczmarczyk as Ursula's evil eels Flotsam and Jetsam. Both have been in roles vastly different to these recently and yet did not at all look out of place.

As Ariel's sisters were Megan Anne, Charlize Gosnell, Izzi Green, Tory Kendrick, Charlotte Louise, and Kasey McKenzie. The six talented young women all have excellent vocals and added a believable touch of sibling love and hate to their roles.

BWW Review: THE LITTLE MERMAID at Regal Theatre

The ensemble is another excellent part of the show, and the choreography by Meagan Boniface makes some big pieces really pop. It's Meagan's first time as lead choreographer and she has done very well. The ensemble excelled and some of the bigger numbers such as 'Under The Sea' really came to life. THE LITTLE MERMAID is directed by Olivia Collier, who makes plenty happen with large staging that becomes several different scenes.

Many of the creatives involved in THE LITTLE MERMAID grew up with Disney, and they approach their roles with genuine energy and enthusiasm. The musical does diverge from the movie somewhat; there are new songs just for the show, and the plot has several differences. Indeed, it is unfair to approach this musical with preconceptions from the classic film. There are incredible performances from talented individuals, as well as humour and emotion that anyone in the audience regardless of age or prior Little Mermaid knowledge can appreciate. The show features some of the most talented musical theatre performers in Perth and all of them have given THE LITTLE MERMAID their all, making it a must-see show these school holidays.

THE LITTLE MERMAID is playing at the Regal Theatre until October 10, with several evening and matinee shows every week. Tickets through Ticketek.

Pictures thanks to HAMA Productions.

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From This Author David Bravos